When we enter the world of essential oils through soap and cosmetics making, we usually bring some knowledge we gathered thanks to power point presentations circulating by email and “popular science” articles in many very non-scientific journals.

This way we know that synthetic fragrances are “no” and essential oils are natural and therefore the only thing we should consider in our cosmetics.

Usually such articles don’t forget to boo boo with some scary list of ingredients (or list of scary ingredients?) with chemical names that are supposed to be harmful for us, just to make the essential oils more sexy…

We also know that essential oils are strong and we should use them carefully... and that they should not be applied directly on skin… and that many of them should be avoided by children and pregnant women...

I really did not feel like I am not ready to use them! Indeed, one should be careful, but I am not going to pour them all over me so….I thought I knew it all, until…

1. … happy about my new plastic measuring spoons I measured 2.5ml of cinnamon essential oil for something I was doing. After pouring it in my formulation (soap?), I put the spoon in the sink to wash it later. The photo below shows how the spoon looks like now – I added its sisters to pronounce the shock effect πŸ™‚

Manipulating essential oils

2. … accidentally (I am sometimes very, very lazy!) put a cotton pad soaked in clove bud essential oil on leather case of my HTC Desire (for my defence, I had a toothache and that was the only place at hand if I did not want to use my new sofa). The problem was that I forgot it there and put my HTC over it…When I remembered, the thin plastic cover was already affected and kind of inflated. My HTC smelled for a very long time as a clove bud. Finally I peeled the plastic off and this is what remained:

Manipulating essential oils 2


Indeed, I started to be very careful about plastics and essential oils, although I have read that clove bud or cinnamon are one of the few essential oils having deteriorating effect on plastics.

Unfortunately, another experience was to come…

3. … only few weeks after I got a new laboratory scale with precision of 0.01g and plastic box protecting it while manipulating … I managed toΒ splash at least 5 ml of geranium essential oil all over the scale… I had this bad idea of trying to wipe it off… which just spread it all over the plastic and made it worse. I should have just let it soak into a paper towel with some oil, or as I found later – use normal oil to wipe it off.

This is my scale:

My scale

… and this is what the essential oil did (no, it is really not dirty…)

Damaging effect of essential oils on plastic Damaging effect of essential oils on plastic


Now you tell me… Evik, you didn’t know? Well, not back then. The important fact that essential oils are highly corrosive even for plastics is usually omitted…

So it took some experience to know… yes, now I do know and you know too, learn from me, be smart… and careful! πŸ™‚


Further reading: